Most people perceive Goa as just a party destination – to frolic in the sunshine, sand and sea. And so the tourists come, year after year, to swim, shop and generally party. But now, there is a growing minority that realizes there is more to Goa than meets the eye. These are the discerning few who have visited, and been impressed by, Goa Chitra.
Located in the charming Goan village of Benaulim, which is gradually transforming into a town, is Goa Chitra – the Ethnographic Museum. The museum offers flashbacks into ancient Goa’s culture, reflecting the lifestyles of civilizations past – their arts, crafts, agriculture, dance, music, folklore, and so much more. With the focus on implements used before electricity came to Goa.
Goa Chitra has evolved over time, growing from 200 exhibits belonging to the private collection of the museums founder to over 4000 on display today. Painstakingly documented, all the exhibits are accompanied by information and photographs on the craftsmanship, indigenous materials used and the impact they have had on Goa’s history and culture.
Built on a sprawling property of 1, 20, 000 sq. ft. the museum is an eco-structure set against a backdrop of an organic farm and blends naturally into the rustic Goan landscape. The entire site has been laid out like a typical Goan village with a winding path that passes the organic farm, the artisans area and on to the museum.
A little beyond is the performance and recreational areas which display traditional costumes and musical instruments, and an arts and crafts gallery. A bandstand and amphitheatre offer the perfect venue for folk music and theatre performances, and craft workshops. In addition, a health and organic shop offers the finest quality farm fresh vegetables and other organic products.
So the next time you visit Goa, do make time to get a fresh perspective on local history and culture at Goa Chitra.